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An Eco-Friendly Printing Company – What does that involve?

Planting trees with Plant One Cornwall
Over the past few months, SAPC have taken part in several initiatives to help not only reduce our impact in the environment but also actively improve it.

At SAPC, we are very proud of our credentials as a sustainable printing company.  Now officially recognised as a Carbon Balanced Printer, we offset the full operational carbon footprint of your print.  Whilst offsetting carbon helps tackle climate change and doing this through the World Land Trust also helps protect endangered species, it is far from the only step we take to be a more eco-friendly printer.

Over the past few months, the St Austell Printing Company team have taken part in several initiatives to help not only reduce our impact on the environment but actively improve it too.  We know that many of our clients are as environmentally conscious as we are, so thought we would give you an update on some of our latest efforts to improve our sustainability.

Paper – it’s more sustainable than you think

We have supported the Two Sides and Love Paper for many years, working together to promote the unique, sustainable, and attractive attributes of print and paper. Many consumers still believe that paper and print are bad for the environment. We work with these organisations to prove that there are Two Sides to that story!

The European paper industry leads the world in sourcing sustainable raw materials, using renewable energy and promoting recycling.  Paper packaging, such as the bespoke, die cut packaging we produce at SAPC, can be a far greener alternative to plastic or other non-renewable materials.  Not only is it biodegradable and recyclable – it can be also be durable and attractive – with the right print of course!

Offsetting Our Carbon Output

You can read all about how we offset our carbon output through the World Land Trust on our Carbon Balanced Printer page – but we also get involved with forests closer to home.  We have been supporting Plant One as a partner for two years and planted our first trees in December 2021.  Five of our team got their wellies on and helped plant trees on farmland in Flushing, near Falmouth.  Plant One aim to create habitats within Cornwall that benefit native wildlife and help keep Cornwall special.

A rewarding day, with a great bunch of people, our tree planting expedition was a thoroughly inspirational experience. The Plant One crew were full of expertise, energy and enthusiasm and we enjoyed working as a team to create a better future together.

Where the Trees Meet the Seas

This year, we are planning an event with Plant One on 23rd September called “Where the Trees Meet the Seas.”  Held at our tree planting site in Flushing, this will be an outdoor occasion to provide more information about how to get involved with Plant One whilst enjoying some delicious food, inspirational speakers and a walk around the site.  More information on that coming soon!

Investment in Electric Vehicles and Charging Points

As a further effort to progress our sustainability and environmental programme, we have recently invested in electric cars for our Director and Sales Manager.  These super smart Tesla Model 3s can also be charged up at our newly installed EV charging points on site in our Business Park car park.  Whilst not available 24/7 (as the car park is closed at night), these charging points can be used by our staff, visitors, customers and anyone attending the Conference Centre who needs them.  To use them, you simply download the ICS App to enable payment and unlock the charger.

Having the charging facilities onsite recently meant SAPC were able to host the Polestar test drive event.  Polestar visited us for two weeks so that people could test their cars and get expert advice on making the switch to electric.

EV Charging point at our print factory

Carbon Net Zero Project

Over the past year, we have been working on our Race to Zero Pledge.  Supported by the SWMAS Clean Growth Programme, this helps us to measure our carbon footprint, establish a benchmark, identify our carbon reduction aims and develop a strategy to work towards achieving Carbon Net Zero.

In line with the Paris Agreement 2015 and in support of Cornwall Council’s ambitious Carbon Neutral strategy, we have pledged to make a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 and to achieve Carbon Net Zero for the business by 2050.

We were of course already quite well set up having built our premises to be BREEAM rated as Excellent and installed one of the largest roof-based solar panel systems in Cornwall. We use all vegetable-based inks, recycle 100% of our paper waste and our new press uses LED-UV instant drying technology and is one of the most environmentally friendly presses available.

Our Future Net Zero Certification

Many of the activities outlined in this blog have contributed towards our short-term goals on our road to Net Zero, including our move towards electric vehicles, carbon offsetting and switching to a green tariff for our electricity.

Future projects to bring us closer to zero carbon emissions are more challenging. These will include sourcing electric vans, refitting our lighting with LEDs and putting together a business case to replace our high energy intensity equipment with more eco-friendly alternatives.

Sustainability is a definite challenge in the printing industry, and we continue to be pro-active in our efforts to be as eco-friendly a printing company as possible.  We would love to hear what you have done to help reduce your impact on the environment and any other eco-friendly initiatives you are aware of that we could get involved with.

Helping You With Sustainable Print

Are you looking to make your print production more sustainable? Get in touch and we will be very happy to work with you to help you choose the most effective and eco-friendly print approach for your business.

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